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Doubts over Syria's commitment to ceasefire

Doubts over Syria's commitment to ceasefire
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There is some scepticism among western diplomats over Syria’s pledge to take steps towards a ceasefire under the plan drawn up by peace envoy Kofi Annan.

He has briefed the UN Security Council behind closed doors on the April 10 deadline, by which time Damascus has supposedly agreed to withdraw its forces from cities to facilitate a ceasefire with rebels.

Syria argues that the rebels must lay down their arms too.

“A plan wouldn’t be successful unless everybody is committed. So far the Syrian government said that it is committed, and we are expecting Mr. Annan to get in touch with the other parties,” said the country’s ambassador to the UN Bashar Ja’afari.

The latest amateur video showed more violence as government forces apparently continued to bombard Homs. Dozens are said to have died on Monday.

Washington’s UN ambassador Susan Rice said some Security Council members were concerned that Syria might use the next few days to intensify its assault on the rebels.

The head of the International Red Cross has arrived in Damascus for two days of talks to press for a ceasefire to evacuate the wounded and deliver supplies to civilians.

UN peacekeepers are already planning for a ceasefire monitoring mission.